Tears and hugs at Hoërskool Driehoek pupil's funeral

2019-02-08 20:46
Teenager Roydon's body being carried outside (Ntwaagae Seleka, News24)

Teenager Roydon's body being carried outside (Ntwaagae Seleka, News24)

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WATCH LIVE | Driehoek tragedy: Roydon Olckers laid to rest

2019-02-08 14:57

Hundreds of pupils from Hoërskool Driehoek in Vanderbijlpark are expected to attend the funeral of Roydon Olckers, one of four children who were killed when a walkway collapsed at the school. WATCH

There were emotional scenes in the packed Derde Kruis Gemeente as mourners gathered for the funeral service of one of the four Hoërskool Driehoek pupils who died last week.

Teenager Roydon Olckers was described as a boy who loved dancing and a devoted Christian.

Roydon, Jandré Steyn and Marli Currie died when a concrete slab above a corridor at the Vanderbijlpark school fell onto 26 pupils on February 1. Another pupil, Marnus Nagel, succumbed to his injuries over the weekend in hospital.

Jandré was cremated on Thursday while Marli, Marnus and Roydon's funeral services took place on Friday. Marnus was expected to be buried after a private service at his parents' farm in Parys, Free State.

During Roydon's funeral service, Pastor Andre Swanepoel described the day as an emotional one.

Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga also attended the funeral. 

A day many won't forget

Mourners, most of whom where pupils clad in school uniform, burst into tears and hugged each other as the service progressed. 

"We pray for those learners who are injured and we wish them a speedy recovery. We are visitors in this world and we are not here forever," said Swanepoel.

He said February 1 was a tragic day that would never be forgotten by many in the country.

READ: Radio station raises more than R800 000 for victims of Hoërskool Driehoek

"People ran amok upon hearing that children have been injured in their school. They wanted to know what had really happened. I am happy that we all stood together after the accident and we are still standing together even today.

"We helped each other and that is beautiful. This tragedy has revealed the beauty inside us," he said.

Swanepoel added that he was happy when he saw South Africans, including politicians, standing together during the families' mourning period.

"Today we are still standing together to bury our children. To those who are heartbroken, we need to stand together and give them strength. Their pain is unimaginable. If we stand together, we can make this world a better place," he said

Roydon's father, Donovan Olckers, said many were surprised to see him taking the podium and addressing mourners.

Olckers said he shared wonderful moments with his son before he died.

"God has given me strength to stand before you and address you. I know people are asking themselves why it is that I am not crying. Just know that God is with me and giving me strength to go forward.

"My son is lying here before me and maybe you know that I am taking antidepressants to be strong during this hard time. I am not but, I have put my faith in the Lord to help me go through this," he said.

Roydon was later cremated.

Read more on:    hoërskool driehoek
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